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  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  Wineries to visit

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Author Topic:   Wineries to visit
Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-29-2012 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Romeolo,

Here is a website and map on the Howell Mountain wineries.
http://www.howellmountain.org/members.html
-Hawkeye

IP: 173.247.8.54

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-29-2012 05:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Romeolo,

You are absolutely correct. Several of them are small, family owned and not generally open to the public except by appointment. You will find the several that I recommended on Howell Mountain are not on the map. You need an appointment and ask for directions. A couple of these are at the top of Howell on Lake Summit Drive and very easy to find. Here is supposedly a complete listing of NV wineries http://www.preiserkey.com/wineries-listing Also, you can find additional maps on www.preiserkey.com It will also tell you if you need an appointment or not.

Don't let that throw you, they are basically easy to find.

-Hawkeye

IP: 173.247.8.54

Romeolo888
Junior Member
posted 02-29-2012 04:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Romeolo888   Click Here to Email Romeolo888     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye, I have just been trying to label the my map of napa valley. Some of the wineries you suggested are not on the map.

IP: 85.13.254.59

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-27-2012 06:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
My pleasure, Romeolo. Have a great and safe trip. By the way, when are you traveling?

When you return, please let us know how the trip went.

This Board has helped me more than I can ever repay.

-Hawkeye

IP: 173.247.8.54

Romeolo888
Junior Member
posted 02-26-2012 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Romeolo888   Click Here to Email Romeolo888     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye, You have been great help!!

I will also consider the inconvenience of driving!!.

I think without your help and also yesilovewine and a few others help, my trip would have been pointless and aimless.

thanks again

IP: 218.82.79.144

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-26-2012 12:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Romeoleo,

One thing you might want to take into consideration is the cost of gas. I understand that it is hovering on $5.00 in the Napa area. Also the inconvenience of the extra driving . . . is it worth $50.00 per night?

Check the Napa Valley Railway Inn in Yountville. They show some weekday rates of $125.00.

Here are the Carlin Cottages in Calistoga for $105.00. Don't know a thing about them.
http://www.carlincottages.com/blog/

Have a great trip.

-Hawkeye

IP: 173.247.8.54

RC456
Member
posted 02-26-2012 08:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RC456     Edit/Delete Message
Romeolo

I ran a search on Orbitz.com for hotels in the Napa/Sonoma area. Looks staying in Vallejo or Fairfield just south of Napa may have something in the price range you have indicated. Here is the link I used on the search: (copy and paste the entire link)

http://www.orbitz.com/shop/hotelsearch?type=hotel&hotel.type=keyword&hotel.coord=&hotel.keyword.key=Napa+Valley+-+Sonoma+County%2C+San+Francisco%2C+CA%2C+United+States&hotel.locId= loc.id%3A37754&hotel.chkin=03%2F26%2F12&hotel.chkout=03%2F30%2F12&hotel.rooms%5B0%5D.adlts=1&hotel.rooms%5B0%5D.chlds=0&hotel.rooms%5B0%5D.chldAge%5B0%5D=&hotel.rooms%5B0%5D.chldAg e%5B1%5D=&hotel.rooms%5B0%5D.chldAge%5B2%5D=&hotel.rooms%5B0%5D.chldAge%5B3%5D=&hotel.rooms%5B0%5D.chldAge%5B4%5D=&hotel.rating=&hotel.chain=&hotel.hname=&hotel.couponCode=&search= Search&hsv.page=1&hsv.sortOrder=NET_PLUS_MARKUP

RC

IP: 99.18.69.239

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-26-2012 06:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Romeolo,

I think you are getting closer to a comfort zone about renting a car. All car rental companies will have a GPS available as an extra. We always just pack our own.

Also thanks for the tips on the wineries. You are making me confident to try your method out.

I have listed some of my favorite wineries for you.

regarding accommodation, are there any places ranging from the price of $60-$100. I dont need any thing special.

Boy, I am not aware of anything in that price range. Anyone else?

Also, can you give me the link for the sonoma website, so that I know I am in the right place.

www.sonoma.com and for the map of Sonoma

http://sonoma.com/visitorsinfo/Sonoma_County_Winery_Map.pdf

Hope we have been helpful.

-Hawkeye

IP: 173.247.8.54

yesilovewine
Member
posted 02-25-2012 09:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
I don't know how to create a link, sorry. But the website I had in mind is www.sonomawine.com.
The chamber of commerce might also be helpful, and I beleive their site is www,sonomacounty.com

IP: 71.65.197.21

Romeolo888
Junior Member
posted 02-25-2012 06:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Romeolo888   Click Here to Email Romeolo888     Edit/Delete Message
I think you two have both been great!!

Regarding the rent a car from the airport, will most cars have GPS nav systems? I think they will, but need to ask. As Hawkeye is saying its not hard, I will try and drive in the US. Hopefully my UK license would be ok. Also, what can be worse than driving in China

I know tasting wines is all about drinking, feeling the smells, taste, and spitting the wine. But still, I don't want to be randomly stopped by a police officer and then get in trouble with the law.

Also thanks for the tips on the wineries. You are making me confident to try your method out.

regarding accommodation, are there any places ranging from the price of $60-$100. I dont need any thing special.

Also, can you give me the link for the sonoma website, so that I know I am in the right place.

IP: 218.82.79.144

yesilovewine
Member
posted 02-25-2012 08:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Romeolo,
Let's talk about the Sonoma wineries of interest and your plan for that area on the Sonoma board. It might help make things seem less overwhelming.

IP: 71.65.197.21

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-25-2012 07:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Romeolo,

I detect some concern you have for driving in the Napa Valley. It is really very easy. Their are two main roads which have wineries lined on each side, Hwy 29 and the Silverado Trail. You really cannot get lost.

Here would be my suggestion: Rent a car at the SFO airport. Your first day in Napa, hire www.napabeedriven.com (or one of the other drive you companies) to drive you around (I would do my own schedule). After that you can see how easy it is and maybe you can drive yourself. If not, hire Bee Driven again.

-Hawkeye

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 02-25-2012).]

IP: 173.247.8.54

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-25-2012 07:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Yes,

Thanks for jumping in and helping with this. I will let you handle the Sonoama side for him. I think he is feeling overwhelmed and really he need not be. Thanks

-Hawkeye

IP: 173.247.8.54

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-25-2012 07:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Again, I will copy your questions and then attempt to answer . . . seems the easiest way for me. Remember, these are my opinions and may be exactly worth what you paid for them.

First, I think we need to clear up the wine tasting. Wine tasting is exactly what it says, you are tasting, not drinking. Most wineries pour less tha 1/2 oz. for tasting. Many people taste on their palate, then spit in the dump bucket. Others will dump any unwanted wine in the dump bucket instead of drinking it. This is accepted practice. Most people carry plenty of water and cracker type snacks in the car to snack on between winery visits. The idea is to not drink so much that you become impaired. 4 to 5, maybe 6 wineries in a day is plenty. If you still feel uncomfortable driving, you can "rent" drivers for your car from places like www.napabeedriven.com. They will make an itinerary for you or follow your itinerary. I would do my own.

"Where would the best place to rent a car? at the airport or at napa valley?"

I would rent it at the airport because you can do a search of car rental companies and find the best price.

"If I stay at Napa? how will I travel to the wineries if I am tasting wines? Is there not a least one bus around? Same with staying at Colistoga. This maybe one reason I have to go on a tour."

Sorry, there is no bus to go wine tasting on. There are companies that provide tours where you join others and go to where the tour takes you. I want to select my own wineries. The best way is by car!

"Is there much difference between the tasting rooms and actually going to a winery?"

There are some very good wineries that do not require an appointment, normally they are in the larger size. The small wineries where you find some of the best and smallest production wines normally require an appointment.

"Could you recommend a few wineries for me please, I am just looking at the napa valley map and don't know where to start. Would be good to have a few suggestions for cabernet in Napa, and the zinfandels, also to have some suggestions in somona county."

Romeolo, here is what I would do to cut down on driving time and distance. I would try to taste by appellation. This way, you can discern the differences in the tastes between appellations. For Napa Valley I would suggest the following.

Howell Mountain - Start at the top: Black Sears, Outpost, O'Shaghenessy, Ladera and Burgess.

Stags Leap - Cliff Lede, Robert Sinskey, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars (not the Stag's Leap Winery), Shafer and Hartwell.

Rutherford - Go into the town of Rutherford where there are several wine tasting rooms. Girard, Jessup, Hill Family, Hope & Grace, Cornerstone, chiarello, etc., etc. you can walk to all of these and leave your car parked. Also, Hall Rutherford has a wine tasting and tour up on Rutherford Hill that shows the Hall's extensive art collection and ends in a cave tasting under a spectacular chandelier, designed by Donald Lipski and Jonquil LeMaster, is dressed in hundreds of Swarovski crystals.

We'd rank the Mondavi Signature tour in St Helena as the single best bang for the buck ($25, 75 min). They take you from the vine, to the bottle, and show/explain most everything in between. Other St. Helena wineries: Chase Family Winery (excellent Zins) Merryvale, Spottswoode, SALON St. Helena tasting room where they taste both Harris and Jones wines.

Calistoga - A must is Bennett Lane Wienry, If you are familiar with the movie "Bottle Shock" (if not, you might want to watch before coming) go to Chateau Montelena where part of the movie was shot, Vincent Arroyo. And near on Diamond Mountain, Von Strasser and Reverie.

I will let someone else chime in on the Sonoma wineries for you. Maybe Yesilovewine

"How much a night is it usually at the accommodation you stay in?"

The Stevenson Manor Best Western http://www.stevensonmanor.com/ will run you about $150.00 per night during the week, add $100.00 per night for Friday and Saturday.

"thanks again."

You are welcome, -Hawkeye

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 02-25-2012).]

IP: 173.247.8.54

yesilovewine
Member
posted 02-25-2012 07:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hawkeye and the rest of the regulars will be your best detailed information source on the appointment needed places; we do not make appointments as we like to wander without having to stick to a schedule...though these guys are working hard to get me to change my mind on that .

For your purpose of finding wineries that are interested in expanding their market, my opinion ( which is not necessarily the most valuable) is that your needs would be best suited by arranging a private tasting just because they are private and therefore more conducive to doing business. Otherwise you would be standing at a tasting bar trying to have a conversation with someone whose job is like a bartender's, so they could be REALLY busy if there is a large group present.
It occurs to me, however, that what you really might get the most benefit from is attending one of the big wine events/festivals where you could taste a myriad of wines all at one place. That way you can do comparisons on site and gather contact information for the wineries of interest. I don't know any of the Napa events off hand, but Sonoma has Harvest Fair in the fall which is a great way to taste from most of Sonoma County's wine producers all in one place.
Its usually pretty easy to get direct contact information for the individual wineries at these events, and its not unusual for winemakers and other principals to be on hand.

In Sonoma, each of the major "regions" has a tasting event of some kind through the year, but HF is county-wide.. As a matter of fact, the barrel tasting weekends are coming up in March. That involves most of the Russian River wineries, much of Dry Creek and a few in Alexander Valley, I think.

The wineries that are by appointment only usually are the smallest producers and don't have enough wine for distribution other than allocation or wine clubs. They may not be new at all, just "well kept secrets" and many have a cult following- like Screaming Eagle, for example. Those are the places that I learn about from these guys on the forums or from articles in wine magazines.

[This message has been edited by yesilovewine (edited 02-25-2012).]

IP: 71.65.197.21

Romeolo888
Junior Member
posted 02-24-2012 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Romeolo888   Click Here to Email Romeolo888     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks yesilovewine,

I have contacted thewebsites owners to see if they can help me with what I require.

It would have been good if the vintner websites or sonoma websites had a forum that I could post up on. But anyhow, I joined their FB.

Question - the public open wine tasting wineries and the appointment tasting wineries. Are there much different between these two, such as reputation, new to market, etc etc?

IP: 109.70.140.180

yesilovewine
Member
posted 02-24-2012 12:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Not wanting to hijack you here, Hawkeye, but regarding how to learn of wineries that may be interested in expnding into foreign markets I think that you would do well to contact one of the regional vintners' organizations.
You could find contact information for these by doing an internet search ...something like "napa vintner's groups" would work.
As far as your interest in Zinfandel, Romeolo, the greatest number of zinfandel producers, by far, would be in the Dry Creek region of Sonoma County. Healdsburg would be the closest town to that area. The website www.sonomawine.com is for one of the larger vintners' groups in that county and that may help you get started with finding producers interested in expanding; that is also a good travel planning resource.

IP: 71.65.197.21

Romeolo888
Junior Member
posted 02-24-2012 07:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Romeolo888   Click Here to Email Romeolo888     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for the detailed reply Hawkeye, I very much appreciate it.

Where would the best place to rent a car? at the airport or at napa valley?

If I stay at Napa? how will I travel to the wineries if I am tasting wines? Is there not a least one bus around? Same with staying at Colistoga. This maybe one reason I have to go on a tour.

Is there much difference between the tasting rooms and actually going to a winery?

Could you recommend a few wineries for me please, I am just looking at the napa valley map and don't know where to start. Would be good to have a few suggestions for cabernet in Napa, and the zinfandels, also to have some suggestions in somona county.

How much a night is it usually at the accommodation you stay in?

thanks again.

IP: 109.70.140.231

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-24-2012 06:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Romeolo,

I will copy your questions and try to answer as best as I can.

where would it be best to stay? in Napa, Sonoma, there are so many options, I am thinking of staying in Sonoma or Napa.

Hawkeye says: Although Sonoma and Napa are the largest towns, except for some tasting rooms in town are at the bottom of both valleys. Most of the best wineries are north of both towns. To visit the best wineries, in NV, staying in Yountville or Calistoga would be the best unless you are looking for night life (which there isn't much anywhere).

How long is the ride from Sanfrancisco airport to the Napa Valley and Sonoma? also what woould be the best method of transport from San Francisco Airport to the above regions?

You really need to rent a car which you will need for making the winery rounds. There is no public transportation. There are wine tours that you can join, but in my opinion, they do not necessarily take you to the best wineries. To answer you question, the trip from SFO to Napa is about 1 1/2 hours. There is a company that will pick you up at the SFO airport and transport you to Napa, but you will still need a car while there.

Would it be better that I book hotels in advanced? I was told by friends that it would be good to just go to these areas and sort on arrival.

It is best to book in advance. Hotels in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys tend to book quite early. Wherever you stay in the Napa Valley, it is only about a 30/45 minute drive from Napa to Calistoga depending on time of day.

Would it be best to book wine tours while I am there? or just have walk around and walk into wineries?

If you stay in Napa town or Yountville, it is possible to walk to several wine tasting rooms (not wineries) To taste at wineries, you will need to take a car.

Hawkeye i looked at Calistoga but it seems far from down town napa.

Again, it is about 30/45 minutes from top to bottom. Maybe 15 minutes to St. Helena where there are a lot of wineries. Calistoga is the most reasonable place to stay. There is the Stevenson Manor Best Western which is a cut above the normal BW. This is where we stay. From here we can go south down the Silverado Trail to the wineries there and south down Hwy 29 to the wineries on that side. Then you can go north over the mountain (about a 45 minute drive) to Healdsburg where you will find some of the world's best Zinfandel wineries. Or you can go west to the Glen Ellen area of the Sonoma valley.

I am also looking for potential wineries that maybe looking to expanding their business scope into China.

You will probably need to look at some of the larger wineries. I really have no knowledge of this.

For reds in the Cabernet range, Napa Valley is the place for you, for the red Zinfandels, Healdsburg and the Dry Creek area is the place for you.

If you have not found it, here is a winery map of NV, You can find one of the Sonoma Valley at www.Sonoma.com
http://napavalley.com/visitorsinfo/Napa_Valley_Winery_Map.pdf

Many of the finest wineries in both Valleys require an appointment so you might keep this in mind. Hope this helps. If you would like specific winery recommendations, I can probably help.

-Hawkeye

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 02-24-2012).]

IP: 173.247.8.54

Romeolo888
Junior Member
posted 02-24-2012 02:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Romeolo888   Click Here to Email Romeolo888     Edit/Delete Message
where would it be best to stay? in Napa, Sonoma, there are so many options, I am thinking of staying in Sonoma or Napa.

How long is the ride from Sanfrancisco airport to the Napa Valley and Sonoma? also what woould be the best method of transport from San Francisco Airport to the above regions?

Would it be better that I book hotels in advanced? I was told by friends that it would be good to just go to these areas and sort on arrival.

Would it be best to book wine tours while I am there? or just have walk around and walk into wineries?

Hawkeye i looked at Calistoga but it seems far from down town napa.

IP: 109.70.140.196

Romeolo888
Junior Member
posted 02-23-2012 07:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Romeolo888   Click Here to Email Romeolo888     Edit/Delete Message
Well, I am looking to visit different type of wineries with different wines. I be focusing on red wines mainly.


I will be staying for a week. From what you said, it maybe best to come on the monday and leave before the weekend.

I am also looking for potential wineries that maybe looking to expanding their business scope into China.

IP: 109.70.140.148

Hawkeye
Member
posted 02-23-2012 06:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Romeolo,

You have come to the right place to get suggestions. However, it would be helpful if you would give us some more information, like, what types of wines do you prefer, what type of food, how long you will be staying, etc. If you can visit during the week, you will find the crowds to be less and lodging rates will be less. Friday and Saturday nichts are your most expensive, normally $100 + over weeknights.

-Hawkeye

IP: 173.247.8.54

Romeolo888
Junior Member
posted 02-23-2012 01:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Romeolo888   Click Here to Email Romeolo888     Edit/Delete Message
Hi everyone, I am visiting Napa Valley for the first time. I am visiting from China I would like some suggestions on to what regions to visit as there are sooo many that I cannot make my mind up.

Ideally I would like tovisit some well named wineries, but also so smaller wineries.

I don't need to live or eat extragantly so some cheap accommodation suggestions would be great to.

Thanks for your help in advanced

IP: 218.82.192.43

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